Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories

UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.

Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.

GFP Global Focal Point Highlights


The importance of strong institutions is more evident than ever as countries and communities respond to disruption, whether because of public health restrictions, climate change or political upheaval. Limitations on public gatherings and travel have revealed the need for institutions that are resilient to disruption. In the justice context, system users are rightly calling for modernized systems, updated platforms for online filing and virtual courts and increased access for justice-seekers. For too long systems have focused on the experience of those working in the system, and not enough on those who count on it for economic security, basic safety and recognition of fundamental rights.

A deep understanding of how people experience injustice is fundamental to transforming justice systems. UNDP brought a rigorous, people-centred, rights-respecting strategy to e-justice and constitution-making. We advanced well-designed e-justice focused firstly on people’s needs, with integrated systems for collecting aggregated data and monitoring international obligations. This kind of rights-respecting support to institutions harnessed the appetite for change to strengthen institutions designed to advance rights protection.

E-Justice: How to accelerate the evolution and ensure we leave no one behind

The evolution of justice systems globally has accelerated in the last few years as courts, lawyers, human rights defenders and other actors find virtual ways to maintain and improve access to justice during lockdowns. However, each new technology raises concerns about privacy and data security and not all technologies are accessible to everyone. As the e-justice evolution accelerates, UNDP is bringing together its expertise, promoting understanding of the risks and opportunities of e-justice and building the capacity of UNDP Country Offices, national counterparts and international partners. In 2021, UNDP produced a suite of knowledge products to lead e-justice innovation that centres on rights protection and access to justice.

A new Global Mapping of E-Justice project in the development context presents over 200 projects by area of impact, type of technology, geography and the partners involved. Organized as a searchable map, this tool allows people working on e-justice initiatives to connect globally and learn from each other. New projects can be added to the map over time, making it a continuously developing tool to aid learning and collaboration and advance people-centred justice.

The research paper “E-Justice: Digital Transformation to Close the Justice Gap” provides an analysis of emerging technology in the justice sector from the perspective of UNDP priorities. Designed for UNDP partners, including national institutions and civil society and staff members working in the field, it analyses the risks and challenges of digitalization processes and how they can affect the rights of vulnerable and marginalized individuals. The paper summarizes key rule of law and human rights issues that arise when technology is used in the justice system. It recommends rigorous, proactive steps to keep rights protection and access to justice at the centre of the technological evolution of justice systems.

  • Brazil
    UNDP has worked with Brazil’s National Justice Council on improving justice effectiveness and access through innovation and digital transformation. These initiatives include the use of artificial intelligence, data analysis and system automation to streamline justice processes, reduce corruption, address gender inequality and improve human rights protections. Technology is being used to avoid human rights violations in prison systems, increase access for ex-inmates to socioeconomic inclusion opportunities, optimize judicial flows and increase transparency of related data, therefore improving the rule of law.
  • Pakistan
    In Pakistan, UNDP worked with the Ministry of Human Rights and Provincial Human Rights Departments to develop the Human Rights Information Management System. This data collection, monitoring and reporting approach allows for aggregated data to identify trends and focus on key priority areas of human rights protection. The system embeds Pakistan's international obligations and integrates them into country reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is being used at the national and sub-national levels to address human rights challenges faced by the most vulnerable populations in Pakistan.
  • State of Palestine
    In the State of Palestine, Mizan II, a collaboration between UNDP and the Palestinian judiciary, is a case management system that started with case files for the court, then expanded to court filing, evidence storage and scheduling access for lawyers. Direct public access has been added using public terminals. The system integrates with other ministries, linking family support, enforcement, corrections and financial institutions. The Mizan system generates data about impacts on women and children and it identifies risks of corruption or delay. The system is linked to SDG indicators and is expanding access to justice.

Drawing from UNDP’s expertise and practices identified in the global e-justice map, and from the analysis of risks and opportunities, UNDP produced an E-Justice Toolkit for UNDP Country Offices and partners to actively advance development-focused e-justice. The Toolkit is a series of checklists, worksheets and guidelines that provide rule of law practitioners with concrete, practical recommendations to use as they initiate e-justice projects or respond to requests for support from national partners, courts or other institutions. The Toolkit will be the basis for trainings and skill development across the UNDP ecosystem.
This work on e-justice is part of the UNDP’s leadership in response to the justice emergency, building the capacity of those working in the legal sector to use technology strategically to protect people and increase their ability to achieve justice.

Constitutional support for the rule of law, equality and inclusivity

Support to constitution-making processes is a central element of strengthening the rule of law. As the supreme law of the land, constitutions provide legal certainty, equal applicability and accountability that are foundational components of the rule of law. Constitutions guarantee fundamental rights and mandate state bodies to protect them, promoting human rights culture and enhancing responsible governance. In this way constitutions are a foundational element through which justice and human rights can be realized, contributing to more sustainable peace and development.

UNDP views support to constitution-making processes an integral part of its rule of law programming, and also central to its mission to fulfill the promise of the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to prevent violent conflicts.

At this moment in history, when peace is elusive, democratic values are being eroded, economic challenges accrue and the impact of the climate crisis is evident, UNDP responds to urgent demands for constitutional assistance, in close collaboration with the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO), UN Women, UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and other partners.

In 2021, UNDP’s Global Programme on Rule of Law and Human Rights supported national partners to plan, implement and ground constitutional reforms in Algeria, Armenia, Chile, Guinea-Bissau, Kyrgyz Republic, South Sudan, Sudan, The Gambia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

2021 National Partners

UNDP’s approach to constitution-making assistance is underpinned by the recognition of people’s sovereignty. In this regard, UNDP supports national partners to design and implement constitutional processes that are inclusive, participatory and transparent, are based on applicable international norms, standards and good practices, and are tailored to the specific country context to ensure the process is nationally owned and led.

Country examples

  • Chile
    In 2021, building upon its comprehensive support to Chile in the run-up to the constitutional plebiscite in 2020, UNDP worked with the Constitutional Convention, a body mandated to draft a new constitution of the Republic. To ensure the drafting process is inclusive and the new constitution explicitly takes into consideration the needs of all groups and individuals, UNDP, in partnership with UN Women and OHCHR, provided support for the Convention members and civil society groups championing women’s rights and indigenous rights. To encourage national dialogue and raise public awareness about the constitution-making process, UNDP supported civil society platforms and provided technical advice to the Convention on rules and procedures to make the process more open and participatory.
  • Guinea-Bissau
    UNDP promoted a more inclusive and gender-sensitive constitutional process in Guinea-Bissau through the support to the Bissau-Guinean Association of Women’s Jurists to advocate for gender-specific clauses to be included in the revised version of the constitution, as well as to make the constitution more gender responsive through the promotion of gender equality and women ́s empowerment in the country. In addition, UNDP enabled a more open and transparent constitutional reform process in Guinea-Bissau by facilitating the broadcasting of plenary sessions of the National People’s Assembly via community radios.
  • Kyrgyz Republic
    In Kyrgyz Republic, upon request from civil society members of the Constitutional Council, UNDP conducted a legal analysis of the draft constitution, focusing on the issues of human rights, gender equality, international standards of democratic governance, separation of powers and judicial independence. In line with a Presidential decree issued in February 2021, UNDP provided technical support to the Ministry of Justice to carry out an inventory of the domestic legal framework aimed at aligning 356 laws with the new constitution.
  • The Gambia
    In 2021, UNDP facilitated dialogues between the leaders of The Gambian political parties over the contested issues that led to the National Assembly’s rejection of the constitutional draft submitted to the Parliament in 2020. UNDP-supported dialogues contributed to the agreement over several outstanding points, including the organization of judiciary, though a few issues remain unresolved. Similarly, in Somalia, UNDP supported the constitution-making bodies to complete the handover reports to the 11th Parliament and the new administration for the purpose of safeguarding the agreements reached to date during the constitutional review process.
The 2nd session of the Constitutional Convention  in Chile. ©Cristina Dorador
The 2nd session of the Constitutional Convention in Chile.Photo: Cristina Dorador